St Johnstone remain in search of their first win of the season after a goalless draw against Dundee United.

The Tayside derby atmosphere led to a first half which, while open, contained little fluid, passing football.

The ball spent less time in the air after the break and Saints' Nigel Hasselbaink squandered the best chance.

The Dutchman worked his way into a shooting position 12 yards out but could not beat Radoslaw Cierniak, with Rowan Vine firing the rebound over.

The share of the spoils keeps United securely ensconced at the top end of the Scottish Premier League, but also leaves the hosts just as solidly fixed at the wrong end of the table.

Both sides went into the match looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend.

But, while United's defeat seemed only a blip after an impressive start to the campaign, Saints started the day sat eleventh in the table with only one point from four games.

United fielded striker Johnny Russell but Gary Mackay-Steven missed out with a hamstring injury, with both players having been the subject of failed deadline-day transfer bids from Huddersfield Town,

Peter Pawlett, on loan from Aberdeen, made his first start for the hosts, coming in for Hasselbaink while Gary Miller replacing Callum Davidson.

The opening stages of the game were swathed in sunshine and United's John Rankin dazzled the Saints defence before lashing his shot wide.

It was an open game, with both sides probing, and Pawlett flashed the ball across the face of goal, with Vine muscled out of a second chance.

United began to exert some authority in midfield and their fans were on their feet when Russell teed up Willlo Flood, whose shot flew just the wrong side of the post.

The home side could still create on the break and the lively Pawlett beat Barry Douglas with a nutmeg at the edge of the box before firing in a powerful left-footed strike from a tight angle that Radoslaw Cierniak parried.

Stuart Armstrong then went on a similar run for the visitors, stinging Alan Mannus' gloves with rasping drive of his own.

All the attacking intent from Saints was coming from the right wing, and Vine sent a teasing cross over which Pawlett volleyed over.

Saints were enjoying a spell of pressure as the first half drew to a close, with Liam Craig fizzing a free-kick just wide but, like the week before against Hibs, they lacked a cutting edge up front.

'Calm down' appeared to have been the message in both dressing rooms, as a greater focus was placed on keeping the ball down in the early stages of the second half, although the less frantic approach did not necessarily lead to more chances.

It took almost 12 minutes of second-half passing before either side had a shot and, when it finally came from the boot of Pawlett, the effort would have been more effective on a rugby pitch.

Saints were looking the more likely and Gregory Tade should perhaps have done better when he spun and shot from the edge of the six-yard box from Murray Davidson's through header.

Saints substitute Hasselbaink forced a save by Cierniak and Vine's follow-up flew over as the match entered its closing stages.

And, as grey clouds darkened the sky over Perth after another winless afternoon, they matched the mood of the Saints fans; there may be stormy days ahead for manager Steve Lomas.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (5)

St Johnstone

  • 01 Mannus
  • 02 MacKay
  • 05 Wright
  • 06 Anderson Booked
  • 19 Miller
  • 04 Cregg (Adams - 83' )
  • 08 Davidson
  • 10 Craig
  • 22 Pawlett (Hasselbaink - 69' )
  • 09 Tade
  • 23 Vine

Substitutes

  • 15 Tuffey
  • 18 McCracken
  • 26 Caddis
  • 43 Rodger
  • 14 Moon
  • 20 Adams
  • 11 Hasselbaink

Dundee Utd

  • 01 Cierzniak
  • 02 Dillon Booked
  • 03 Douglas
  • 05 Gunning
  • 12 Watson (McLean - 26' )
  • 06 Flood
  • 08 Rankin Booked
  • 10 Ryan (Dow - 57' )
  • 16 Armstrong
  • 07 Russell
  • 09 Daly (Gardyne - 57' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Banks
  • 04 McLean
  • 14 Millar
  • 28 Robertson
  • 38 Gauld
  • 15 Gardyne
  • 18 Dow
Ref: Collum
Att: 5,014

Match Stats

Shots

7 6

On target

2 2

Corners

6 6

Fouls

9 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:22 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +2:47

The referee blows for offside against Gregory Tade. Radoslaw Cierzniak restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +2:04

Jamie Adams gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Willo Flood. Free kick crossed right-footed by Willo Flood from right wing, clearance by Murray Davidson.

90:00 +0:54

Stuart Armstrong produces a cross, save by Alan Mannus.

89:38

Corner taken by Willo Flood from the left by-line played to the near post, Alan Mannus makes a save.

88:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Murray Davidson on Johnny Russell. Willo Flood takes the indirect free kick.

85:24

Gavin Gunning is penalised for a handball. Liam Craig fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.

85:24 Booking

Booking Sean Dillon is cautioned by the ref for dissent.

83:10 Booking

Booking The referee books John Rankin for unsporting behaviour.

83:00

Unfair challenge on Murray Davidson by John Rankin results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Gary Miller.

82:39 Substitution

Substitution Jamie Adams on for Patrick Cregg.

81:55

Nigel Hasselbaink takes a shot. Save by Radoslaw Cierzniak. Rowan Vine takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.

81:10

The ball is sent over by John Rankin.

80:24

Corner taken by Willo Flood, clearance by Murray Davidson.

68:07 Substitution

Substitution Peter Pawlett goes off and Nigel Hasselbaink comes on.

67:23

Inswinging corner taken by Peter Pawlett, Stuart Armstrong manages to make a clearance.

66:49

Steven Anderson fouled by Michael Gardyne, the ref awards a free kick. Gary Miller takes the indirect free kick.

65:58

Gregory Tade produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the bar.

65:17

The ball is delivered by Ryan Dow, save made by Alan Mannus.

64:30

Patrick Cregg challenges Michael Gardyne unfairly and gives away a free kick. Willo Flood takes the indirect free kick.

62:38

Foul by Barry Douglas on Peter Pawlett, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Liam Craig from right wing.

59:59

Liam Craig fouled by John Rankin, the ref awards a free kick. Patrick Cregg restarts play with the free kick.

59:27

Liam Craig delivers the ball.

58:24

Unfair challenge on Patrick Cregg by Willo Flood results in a free kick. Patrick Cregg takes the free kick.

56:14 Substitution

Substitution Jon Daly leaves the field to be replaced by Michael Gardyne.

56:14 Substitution

Substitution Ryan Dow is brought on as a substitute for Richie Ryan.

51:09

Willo Flood takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, save by Alan Mannus.

50:32

Corner taken by Willo Flood from the left by-line played to the near post, Steven Anderson manages to make a clearance.

49:42

The ball is delivered by Liam Craig, Sean Dillon makes a clearance.

49:15

The ball is swung over by Liam Craig, blocked by Richie Ryan.

47:28

Johnny Russell takes a shot. Save by Alan Mannus.

46:38

Brian McLean concedes a free kick for a foul on Rowan Vine. Indirect free kick taken by David MacKay.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +2:12 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.

45:00 +1:49

The offside flag is raised against Jon Daly. Indirect free kick taken by Alan Mannus.

45:00 +0:58

Unfair challenge on Stuart Armstrong by Gary Miller results in a free kick. Willo Flood crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, clearance by David MacKay.

45:00 +0:13

The ball is crossed by Barry Douglas, save by Alan Mannus.

43:58

A cross is delivered by Barry Douglas.

40:06

Liam Craig challenges Stuart Armstrong unfairly and gives away a free kick. Brian McLean restarts play with the free kick.

39:36

Corner taken right-footed by Peter Pawlett to the near post, Jon Daly makes a clearance.

37:48

Free kick awarded for a foul by Barry Douglas on Gary Miller. Liam Craig delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.

35:50

Headed effort from deep inside the area by Frazer Wright misses to the right of the target.

34:35

Richie Ryan concedes a free kick for a foul on Gregory Tade. Liam Craig restarts play with the free kick.

33:17

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Liam Craig, save by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

32:19

Peter Pawlett takes a inswinging corner.

31:28

The ball is sent over by Brian McLean.

30:21

Gregory Tade fouled by Richie Ryan, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Liam Craig from right channel, Radoslaw Cierzniak manages to make a clearance.

29:30

Stuart Armstrong takes a shot. Alan Mannus makes a save. Inswinging corner taken by Willo Flood from the left by-line, save by Alan Mannus.

29:10

Rowan Vine concedes a free kick for a foul on Richie Ryan. Richie Ryan takes the indirect free kick.

27:40

Peter Pawlett takes a shot. Save made by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

25:57 Substitution

Substitution Keith Watson leaves the field to be replaced by Brian McLean.

25:25

The ball is sent over by Liam Craig.

24:39

The ball is crossed by Gary Miller, clearance by Gavin Gunning. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Peter Pawlett, Gavin Gunning manages to make a clearance.

23:18

Liam Craig takes a outswinging corner.

22:29

The ball is sent over by Gary Miller, Gregory Tade has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

20:46

Steven Anderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Jon Daly. Barry Douglas delivers the ball, Jon Daly takes a shot. Comfortable save by Alan Mannus.

15:46

Header from close in by Stuart Armstrong misses to the left of the goal.

15:25

The ball is swung over by Barry Douglas, Frazer Wright manages to make a clearance.

14:26

Foul by Frazer Wright on Johnny Russell, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Barry Douglas.

12:33

Corner from the left by-line taken by Willo Flood, clearance by Liam Craig.

11:29

Willo Flood produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.

10:03

Unfair challenge on Barry Douglas by Peter Pawlett results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Radoslaw Cierzniak.

7:39

Gary Miller delivers the ball, clearance by Keith Watson.

7:06

Willo Flood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Liam Craig. Steven Anderson restarts play with the free kick.

1:35

John Rankin has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide left of the goal.

0:00

The match has kicked off.

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